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“Building 21st Century Infrastructure” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 02 April 2021 12:54

build-bb-bidenMILWAUKEE - We dive into the exciting details of President Biden’s historic Build Back Better plan released Wednesday. Will it pass? Does it go far enough?

Back in Wisconsin politics, we discuss next Tuesday’s Spring General Election and encourage listeners to volunteer this weekend for Jill Underly and local endorsed candidates. The panel evaluates the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision to overturn Gov. Evers’ mask mandate. Is there a valid legal argument or are right-wing justices acting like politicians in robes.? Claire updates us on this week’s Citizen Action Healthcare Week of Action focused on important state budget priorities. We also shine a light on Legislative Republican’s sham hearings peddling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

Listen Now – Episode #486
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Gov. Radio Address - Plan to Invest Federal American Rescue Plan Funds PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 02 April 2021 10:38

covid-19-restaurant-emptyMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today delivered the Democratic Radio Address on his plan to invest the $3.2 billion in federal funding Wisconsin received from the American Rescue Plan Funds into small businesses, families, and communities.

Audio file of Radio Address

Hello, Governor Tony Evers here.

tony-eversI was excited to announce this week our plan to use $3.2 billion in federal funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to help our state bounce back from this pandemic.

We know we have work to do to make sure our economy can recover from this pandemic. And that’s why we’re going to invest $2.5 billion into economic recovery and well-being, including $600 million to support our small businesses and $50 million to support our tourism industry.

Finally, we’re also going to invest $500 million into our state’s continued pandemic response and $200 million into building infrastructure, including a significant investment in broadband so families and communities can learn, work, and get connected.

Just like last year with our CARES dollars, we’re going to be working to get these funds out the door as quickly as we can. We know these American Rescue Plan funds will be critical to making sure our state can bounce back and better than we were before this pandemic hit. And time is of the essence to get support to folks who need it.

So, that’s why I vetoed Senate Bill 183 this week, which would have given Republicans in the Legislature approval over how we used these funds, potentially preventing us from getting this money out the door quickly to folks who need it.

At the end of the day, these funds don’t belong to me or any member of the Legislature—it’s your money, folks. We need to put people before politics and we can’t afford to waste time on all the political back-and-forth.

We’re going to keep working quickly to get these resources out the door to families, businesses, and farmers who need it so we can get through this pandemic and bounce back together.

Thank you.

 
Leaders Support Governor’s Gun Safety Budget Provisions PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Melissa Agard Press   
Friday, 02 April 2021 10:23

guns-stopvThe only place gun violence is a partisan issue is in the Capitol, say Democratic leaders. Common sense reforms have the power to save lives, and we need action now.


MADISON- On Thursday, Senators Melissa Agard (D-Madison), LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), and Attorney General Josh Kaul called on Republican leaders in our state to support universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders proposed in Governor Evers’ 2021-23 Budget. This call to action comes in the wake of several mass shootings across our country over the past two weeks. Senator Agard released the following statement:

melissa-agard-sargent“Today, I was proud to join Attorney General Kaul and Senator Johnson in calling on Republican leaders to support the crucial gun safety measures in Governor Evers’ biennial budget, including expanding universal background checks to all gun sales and Extreme Risk Protection Orders.”

“The fact is, the only place that addressing gun violence is a partisan issue is in the Capitol. The people of Wisconsin know that those who skirt our gun laws using loopholes do a disservice to responsible gun owners everywhere,” Senator Agard stated. “It's common sense to prevent domestic abusers and felons from purchasing weapons using the ‘gun show loophole.’ That’s why we need universal background checks for all firearm purchases like Governor Evers is proposing.”

There is a societal and fiscal impact to gun violence. Recent research revealed that the annual cost of gun violence in the United States exceeds $229 billion.

“I cannot, and will never, treat gun violence and mass shootings as inevitable. Inaction is an admission that this is our fate as a state and nation. We need a commitment from Republican leadership in both chambers that they will keep these provisions in the budget. These common sense reforms have the power to save lives. We can no longer ignore the pervasive threat of gun violence in communities across Wisconsin. We must pass these policies to keep people safe. We must be brave enough to take action.”

 
Thank Gov. for breaking down barriers to the polls PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 10:37

coronavirus-voting-us-abcnewsMADISON - Automatic voter registration is in this year’s Executive Budget! THANK Governor Tony Evers for prioritizing democracy!

Gov. Tony Evers’s budget proposal, released in February, includes funding for automatic voter registration (AVR). By prioritizing AVR, he acknowledges that Wisconsin has the chance to be a national leader in election security, accuracy, and accessibility. Take action along with member organizations of the Wisconsin Voting Rights Coalition by thanking Gov. Evers for supporting democracy >>>

Here is a sample message you can send to Gov. Evers to thank him:

Dear Governor Evers,

Thank you so much for including automatic voter registration and other important pro-voter policies in your budget. We know how important voter access is to Wisconsinites across the state. We appreciate your commitment to voter access and making sure every Wisconsinite has the freedom to vote.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

AVR is the best option for secure and fair election registration that will benefit voters statewide. From rural areas to urban city centers, voter information will be automatically updated and new voters will be automatically registered when people interact with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This funding will help implement new systems that allow the DMV to transmit secure voter information to the Wisconsin Elections Commission daily. As election officials work to improve the security and integrity of our voting systems, it’s time for them to adopt proven policies like automatic voter registration. These updates will make registering to vote easier and more accessible for all voters, particularly those who are frequent movers, live in rural areas, or have disabilities.

tony-eversEveryone who is eligible should have the freedom to vote.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign commends Gov. Evers for making democracy a priority in 2021. By including automatic voter registration in his budget, Wisconsin is one step closer to building a stronger, safer, and more inclusive democracy.

matt-rothschild-2018Contact Governor Evers, and thank him for breaking down barriers to the polls. Let’s make AVR happen!

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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AFSCME Applauds Gov. Evers’s Veto of SB 38 PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by AFSCME Wisconsin, Valerie Landowski   
Friday, 26 March 2021 16:33

coronavirus-office-closed-wiMADISON - AFSCME Wisconsin applauds Governor Tony Evers’s veto of Senate Bill 38, requiring that the Governor submit to the legislature a uniform timeline for state employees to return to their physical places of employment.

AFSCME Wisconsin Executive Director Patrick Wycoff stated, “we frequently hear from frontline essential state workers about their desire to resume working from their offices. However, we also know that to do so prematurely would endanger the communities we serve and jeopardize the progress we’ve made to defeat COVID-19.”

Wycoff continued, “the needs of state workers are diverse, as are our workplaces and the communities we serve. We cannot institute a one-size-fits-all approach. Department of Corrections employees might face different hurdles than Department of Children and Families employees. Even within state departments, where one institution faces a challenge, another might face a drastically different scenario. One thing remains constant: we need targeted reopening plans that prioritize worker and community safety. Those plans must be specific to worksites, departments, and agencies.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 March 2021 10:40
 
“Ron Johnson running with Q’Anon” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 26 March 2021 10:44

rojo-qanonMILWAUKEE - We look at Sen. Ron Johnson’s lockstep alignment with Trump’s Q’Anon base, and his new found national infamy among moderates and progressives. Has he gone off the deep end or is this smart politics in Trump’s GOP? We discuss next week’s important Healthcare Week of Action focusing on critical healthcare priorities in the state budget. Claire details the events and your opportunity to get involved, including talking to your state legislators. We expose the Legislative Republican effort to downplay the importance of COVID-19 vaccination at a time when health officials are trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated. We close by welcoming Mike Browne, Deputy Director of A Better Wisconsin Together (ABWT) to discuss how two of their identical open records requests to GOP state legislators produce vastly different results, and what is says about transparency in Wisconsin government.

Listen Now – Episode #485
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Gov. Radio - Badger Bounceback Agenda to Expand Access to Affordable Healthcare PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 March 2021 08:30

healthcare-family-drMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers Thursday delivered the Democratic Radio Address on how his Badger Bounceback agenda will expand accessible and affordable healthcare in Wisconsin by expanding BadgerCare and investing in mental and behavioral health resources, addressing health disparities, lowering prescription drug costs, and addressing the caregiving crisis.

Audio file of Radio Address.

tony-evers-capHi everyone, Governor Tony Evers here.

Our Badger Bounceback budget agenda is all about how we can make sure our state recovers from the pandemic better and stronger than we were before the pandemic hit. And if there’s anything COVID-19 underscored, it’s that the health and wellness of our state and our economy depends on the health and wellness of our people.

Whether it’s affordability or accessibility due to lack of broadband for telehealth services or transportation to get into town, too many Wisconsinites continue to face barriers to accessing the healthcare that they need.

That’s why my biennial budget proposal invests in expanding access to affordable healthcare in four critical ways.

We’re proposing expanding BadgerCare to provide coverage to 90,000 Wisconsinites and save our state $1.6 billion dollars, ensuring telehealth services are covered the same as in-person services, investing in mental and behavioral health resources for the folks who need it, and addressing health disparities by investing in health equity initiatives and curbing social determinants of health.

We’re also going to tackle the rising costs of prescription drug prices with over 20 policy solutions to help lower costs and increase transparency because picking up your medications shouldn’t break the bank.

And, folks, all across Wisconsin we are experiencing a caregiving crisis, so we’re investing $600 million in our long-term care, direct care workforce, and family caregivers. And finally, we are also going to continue to protect and ensure coverage for the more than 2.6 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions.

Join me in supporting our Badger Bounceback budget by contacting your local representatives to tell them you support these proposals, and let’s get this done. Thank you.

 
Wis Democracy Campaign - $$$ in Spring Elections PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 26 March 2021 08:06

voting-2020MADISON - With the April 6 elections fast approaching, we’ve tallied some of the money flowing into two big races.

In the race for state superintendent, we found a huge money advantage for Jill Underly from outside groups:

Liberal Groups Outspending DeVos group 13 to 1 in Superintendent Race

In the appellate court race in southeastern Wisconsin, we noticed that a Republican outside group is pouring money in. This shows that big money groups are trying to buy even lower levels of the judiciary:

GOP Electioneering Group Drops $56K+ in Appeals Court Contest

And if you want to look back at any of the legislative races from the fall, our Data Analyst David Julseth has provided campaign finance updates through December 2020. Just click on this link, and whichever race interests you:

Online individual contributor database updated -- Fall 2020 legislative elections

For commentary, we published two pieces this week.

Our Racial Equity and Economic Justice Advocate, Cely Flores, wrote this eye-opening piece on a new bill in Wisconsin that would lift up the wage of restaurant servers. The minimum is a shocking $2.23 an hour here:

Servers Should Not Have to Depend on the Goodwill of Strangers

And I gave talk on Monday night to the Wisconsin Interfaith Voter Engagement Campaign on the nasty voter suppression bills that are circulating in Wisconsin, and the national anti-democracy movement that they are part and parcel of. Here’s the text of my talk:

The Battle for Democracy

matt-rothschildI hope you like this week’s offerings.

Have a nice weekend.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

***

P.S. Please send us a tax-deductible donation so we can keep doing this urgent work. Just click here. Or you can mail your check in the old-fashioned way to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 203 S. Paterson St, Suite 100, Madison WI 53703. Thanks!

 
Stubbs on Shooting in Boulder, Colorado PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Shelia Stubbs Press   
Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:52

guncontrol-protestRepublicans should work with legislative Democrats on passing meaningful gun control reform, says Rep. Stubbs.


Madison, WI – Yesterday, a man in Boulder, Colorado shot and killed 10 people in a local grocery store. On this event, Rep.Stubbs issued the following statement:

“Gun violence continues to plague our communities, and it must be stopped. Yesterday, ten people lost their lives, and now ten families will never be the same. We cannot continue to stand by as our neighbors, friends, family and loved ones fall victim to these senseless attacks.”

shelia-stubbs-rep-district 77“Among those lost in this attack was Officer Eric Talley, who was a father of seven children. At the age of 40, Officer Talley left his career in cloud communications and dedicated his life to serving his community. We lost an inspirational public servant yesterday, and my prayers are with his family and loved ones today.”

“This is the third mass shooting in only one week. In just these three events, 23 people lost their lives to gun violence. Shootings happen nearly every day in our communities, and it is time for change. Gun violence is an epidemic, and our legislators must implement common sense regulations to keep our communities safe.”

“Gun violence tears at the fabric of community health. In addition to the tragic loss of life, gun violence creates an environment of fear, distrust, and danger that impacts all aspects of our lives. If we want to see a better tomorrow, we must make meaningful action today.”

“My prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones in this shooting. Enough is enough, and I pray that leaders on the other side of the aisle do what is right, and work with legislative Democrats on passing meaningful gun control reform.”

 
Wis Democracy Campaign - Say No to Racism! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 19 March 2021 14:02

ron-johnson-speaksMADISON - This week, we were once again confronted with one of the fundamental problems facing our democracy: racism.

We saw it blurt out of the mouth of Senator Ron Johnson, when he said, on rightwing radio, that he wasn’t concerned on Jan. 6 by the Trump supporters but would have been by Black Lives Matter protesters. I wrote an editorial on this, demanding that Ron Johnson resign, which you can read here:

Ron Johnson, Resign!

And we saw it horrifically spill blood in Atlanta and take the lives of eight people, and notably six Asian Americans. Our Racial Equity and Economic Justice Advocate, Cely Flores, wrote about it here:

We Know a Hate Crime When We See One

We need to call racism out wherever we see it. It is a huge moral wrong, and it prevents democracy from functioning properly. No one has an equal voice when they are discriminated against. No one has an equal voice when they are denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness just because of who they are.

Of course, our democracy does not function properly because of big money in politics, too. If you want to find out which outside groups are spending the most in the spring elections, click on this link and then click on the groups that interest you:

Hijacking Campaign 2021 - Independent Expenditures

matt-rothschild-2018I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy the warm weather this weekend.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

***

P.S. If you appreciate the work we’re doing here, please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here. Thanks!

 
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